Sources: Ballard drawing interest; Leafs not close to deal

TSN.ca Staff
6/25/2010 4:53:34 PM
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With the first round of the NHL Entry Draft taking place tonight in Los Angeles, all the league's general managers are in the same city, which means that trades, and trade talks will likely dominate the day.

There appears to be a fair share of first round picks that look to be on the market.

According to sources, the Atlanta Thrashers are shopping the 8th overall pick.   This is general manager Rick Dudley's sixth draft as a GM and he has traded a first round pick five times, including the 24th pick in tonight's draft in the Dustin Byfuglien deal earlier in the week.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger is also reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets are open to dealing the 4th overall pick, and that new Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is seeing a lot of interest in the 15th overall pick, but Florida has yet to pull the trigger on a deal.

The New Yorks Islanders are now reportedly open to dealing the fifth overall pick.

The Phoenix Coyotes are also said to be shopping the 22nd overall pick as well, and the club is said to be looking for either a young player and a lower pick in return or a package with multiple picks.

Grebeshkov on the go?

The Nashville Predators are aggressively trying to move defenceman Denis Grebeshkov.

Sources say, Predators general manager David Poile has granted Grebeshkov's agent, Todd Diamond, permission to speak to NHL teams about his availability.

As many as five teams are believed to have serious interest in the soon-to-be restricted free agent.

Interest picking up in Ballard

According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Florida Panthers defenceman Keith Ballard is a highly sought after commodity with a number of Western Conference teams interested.

Hamhuis getting moved again?

McKenzie is also reporting that recently acquired free agent Dan Hamhuis is not at all close on contract talks with the Philadelphia Flyers, with all signs pointing to him not signing before July 1, when he can become an unrestricted free agent.

The Flyers could very well look to trade away his negotiation rights, much the same way they got them from the Nashville Predators.

Despite the Vancouver Canucks' interest in Hamhuis, McKenzie believes that the club won't deal away a pick for his rights, but rather wait to see if they can sign the defenceman after July 1. 

Kaberle Update

According to Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are still sitting on multiple offers for defenceman Tomas Kaberle, but right now there is not a strong enough offer for the Leafs to make the trade. He may not get moved this weekend unless offers improve.

McKenzie agrees, adding that unless there is a "seismic shift in coming hours", the Leafs are not close to pulling the trigger on any moves today.

Ribeiro on the move?

In other news while the Dallas Stars are listening to teams that express interest in forward Mike Ribeiro, the club isn't trying to push the talented forward out. Ribeiro has a $5 million salary cap hit and is signed for the next three seasons.

Staying in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar's agent from CAA Sports, J.P. Barry, and Penguins general manager Ray Shero are expected to meet before the draft to continue contract negotiations. The club is reportedly offering a two-year deal, but Gonchar is said to be looking for a three-year pact.  Gonchar is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Stay with TSN.ca for updates from our Insiders as news happens throughout the day, and don't miss our draft coverage starting tonight at 7pm/4pm et on TSN and TSN HD and streaming live on TSN.ca and on the TSN iPhone App.

Keith Ballard (Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
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